Imagine a 21st century in which polio, measles and rubella are making a strong comeback in the developed world. Tens of thousands of children are paralyzed, even though the polio vaccine was discovered in 1955. This scenario is not an ingredient in a futuristic dystopia scenario produced in Hollywood in the last century.
It could be an ingredient in a cynical and nihilistic corporate recipe led by two of the world’s richest men, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg.
Every night, the 2.3 million viewers of Fox News, the most-watched cable network in the United States, are bombarded with anti-vaccine messages. Tucker Carlson, the most visible of prime-time presenters and the voice of the post-Trump ultra-right, calls on the Trumpist sect to resist immunization, spewing a slug of ideological plots.
On Saturday (17), dr. Anthony Fauci, the renowned virologist with more than half a century of fighting infectious diseases, suggested with frustration that the United States would still fight polio, smallpox and other diseases that were eradicated decades ago if the media then had the same power to fight against vaccination in pasta. He lamented that the motivation of cynics like Carlson, whom he did not name, is pure ideological branding, a niche market.
Interestingly, Fox traditionally has the oldest audience. Its viewers this year are on average 68 years old. So, from a cynical and business standpoint, calling out viewers to be infected doesn’t make sense. Unless, as one comedian recalled, his niche of advertisers is limited to casket makers and funeral homes.
When public health officials ask vaccine deniers why they prefer to risk infection, they cite wacky information posted on the social network, and Facebook platforms are the conspiratorial champions. Despite Joe Biden’s spontaneous outburst last week about Facebook – “they’re killing people!” – the reality is more complex and also involves other sources, such as Russian agents using the American media to spread distrust of vaccines produced in the West.
The United States has tens of millions of doses of the coronavirus vaccine that will expire by the end of August. While the entire African continent has only managed to vaccinate 1% of the population, there are still vaccines here, between the existing stock and those already ordered, to vaccinate the entire population of the country, even when doses for children of less than 12 years are released. , the current age limit approved by the federal government.
At least 52 million doses have not been distributed in multiple states, and this is not an excess in one state and a shortage in another, which could be addressed with better coordination.
There is simply not enough demand for vaccines in the country, where the pandemic has again escalated in all 50 states. Today, 95% of those infected in hospitals have not been vaccinated. At least 83% of new cases of sequenced coronavirus are of the virulent delta strain, whose viral load in infected people is estimated by a study to be 1,000 times that of the alpha strain, which dominated the initial phase of the disease. pandemic.
What freedom of expression allows two media oligopolies to summon their audiences to suicide?
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